>How do we cope with the disease of pointlessness?


When critics of Western society actually have a point they usually draw parrallels to Ancient Rome and Greece. In recent years athiests, agnostics, and those believing in philosophies of religion rather than the supernatural, have boomed in number. Ferdinand Mount, who was once head of Thatcher’s policy unit in Downing Street, has written a book called “Full Circle: How the Classical World Came Back to Us”. In this work he paints: Anaximander, a pre-Socratic philosopher, as the first Darwinian; Lucretius as the Richard Dawkins of 55BC; Mithras and Mick Jaeger as the God and semi-God on the brink of satisfaction. Mental illness, and declining belief in what we had once said the West stood for: democracy, liberalism and freedoms; have resulted in apathy, depression and a feeling of pointlessness.

So how do we avoid/tackle this problem? If they followed from the lack of strong beliefs then how do we avoid the widespread immoralities often referred to throughout Ancient Greece and Rome?

I know this picture is a bit biased but imagine it correlated against a graph showing how many people felt life was pointless. And secondly, if Mount is right then might we be headed for a new Dark Ages?


  • >hhmm, a little difficult to understand what you're actually asking here Rob.Is it how we cope without meaning ? Or is it about an author's statement that we are similar to the ancients ? Or is it something to do with a tie-in between lack of religion and lack of meaning ?My knowledge of the ancients is bare so it does intrigue me that someone thinks there are marked similarities, I may have to read that book. Do you have it ?Now, i will presume your question is about the pointlessness of life (since that's what the title says).How do we cope with it ? Well there is the book of Ecclesiastes. It's been said that this book doesn't really belong in the bible but such is it's meditation on the futility of life, that it was included. I think that it is the only damn book worth reading in that thing."What profit hath a man for all his toil ? His fate is the same as a beast. They all go to one place, they are of the dust and they return to dust again" to paraphrase.Absolutely astoundingly beautiful book that one.And the conclusion ? All is vanity and futility.But that's ok.Why should we need meaning ?If we have love, friendship, enjoyment and wonder, then why would we need meaning ?To whom are we trying to justify our existence ? God ? Society ? Ourselves ?Maybe the lack of meaning is the reason life is short. Shorter than the time it takes to experience the things around us and within us. Possibly this is as stated in another post, just a bonus round where we get 72 years to "suck on the sav" as much as we can. I hope this was the question by the way 😉

  • >Yeah sorry I know it's a little unclear. If I'm honest I meant to save it to edit for later but accidently clicked publish. Nonetheless I think it raises lots of interesting questions, so it's about all the things you asked.I don't have the book unfortunately. I just read a review. Though I'm guessing that seen as he argued we need to get more religious I probably wouldn't agree. Your conclusion shows that you're already suffering from this 'disease of pointlessness' in that you believe life is pointless, at least to a degree. I don't. I don't see why God is supposed to give life more meaning. To me it would give far less. At present meaning can be found in everything, a few of which you named: love, friendship, enjoyment and wonder. Yet a religious person would say the meaning in each of these cases really went back to one magical being. So my question is this: why does modern society see more meaning in an idea of reality where only one thing has real meaning, than in a world where meanings are infinite?

  • >You are wrong Rob.I am not suffering from the disease of pointlessness.I am very happy with the idea of a life that can be lived without a holistic meaning, and I love the freedom that it imbues.Please retract your statement.

  • >I didn't mean to offend, and I'm sorry if I did so. You implied there is no meaning to life, and yes this does imply pointlessness. I suspect you actually share my belief that there are many meanings in life, without one holistic one. But that's not what you said.

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